Breakfast at Bronzefield is one of the best books I’ve read this year. No jokes. No lies.
It’s one of those books that opens you up to a world you might have heard of, but never really truly knew about before. I’ve watched Orange is the New Black, and have heard all of the stories from shows and books like it, but Sophie’s first hand account opened my eyes up so much. Seriously, it’s not the fun and cutesy stuff Orange brings you in the show (although, it is still an excellent show so I’m not hating on it).
Sophie is a real woman who was in a women’s prison, and man does her story shed a different light on the “correction” facilities. By the sounds of it, we can hardly call them correction facilities anymore, but that’s a topic for another day (or for this book, let’s be honest).
This book recounts Sophie’s tales as a black woman in the Britain’s justice system. Women’s prisons aren’t the campy fun that some television shows might have you believe. The news doesn’t do it justice either. Correctional officers and probation officers aren’t always out there to protect these ladies, and inmates don’t always get treated the way they should. The food isn’t great, when they can get it. The activities are limited, and they’re lucky to get them most of the time, especially if the officer or recreation assistant running it doesn’t like them (for who knows what reason). Even then, once they are no longer inmates, it isn’t easy for them to get back on their feet. The programs provided don’t always help or have the best interests of these ladies in mind.
This book is honest, real and raw. It made me think a lot and wonder how the system got so corrupt. If we’re trying to help people get ‘better’ or learn from their ‘mistakes’, why are we so harsh? Is there not better ways? It’s mind blowing. The system we’ve been told is supposed to help and do good is quite corrupt.
Overall, the honesty and accuracy of this account is so mind boggling. While I’m not surprised, I also totally was. Sophie’s accounts felt so real, and brought some new light to my eyes. More stories like these need to be told, and then maybe the system will change. That’s a tall order, but it’s possible – it just might take a very long time.
Five out of five stars.
I received a free copy of this book from the author, Sophie Campbell, in exchange of an honest review.
If you liked this book, here’s some other books from my blog that you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Boy on the Beach by Tima Kurdi
#BookReview Crime Seen by Kate Lines
#BookReview You’re Doing Great and Other Reasons to Stay Alive by Tom Papa
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